May 23, 2010

May is National Foster Care Month. Together, we can make a difference.

Did you know it would take less than 1% of the U.S. population to provide a family for every child in foster care?

May is National Foster Care Month and there has never been a greater need to bring attention to children waiting for forever homes. More than 463,000 children are currently in foster care and 123,000 children are waiting to be adopted.

Children in foster care are loving children. They are children like Shaquane and Edlina and Albert. Every child deserves to have a home with caring and supportive parents.


Help us spread the message this month to reach all Americans and teach them about the love and joy that foster care adoption can bring to your life. Check out ways you can get involved.

Visit www.adoptuskids.org to learn more about fostering and adopting. You can also join our online communities on Facebook and Twitter.



My Review of 16" Electric Skillet

Originally submitted at CSN Stores

All Presto Control Master Appliances feature heavy cast aluminum construction, premium nonstick finish, inside and out, and are completely immersible when the heat control is detached. Experience the versatility and durability of this electric skillet that accommodates extra large cuts o...


Excellent for all frying uses

By tnshadylady from Tennessee on 5/23/2010

 

5out of 5

Pros: Temperature Control, Easy To Clean, Delicious Results

Describe Yourself: Avid Cook

I love my new 16" electric skillet! The extra large skillet space really makes a difference when you're cooking eggs, pancakes, etc. It heats up really fast, has great temperature control, and is a breeze to clean. I started out using just a little olive oil but found out the non-stick surface really is non-stick, so now I rarely use any oil or butter at all and nothing sticks to the pan. Highly recommended!

(legalese)

Win an upright freezer! Nestle promotion with links to enter



Nestle is introducing new bulk packs of frozen summer treats and to kick it off right, they are giving away a GE® 13.7 CU. FT. Frost-Free Upright Freezer valued at over $500!

Enter to win at any of these blogs:

3 Kids and Us

What's That Smell

MomDot

Mommy Goggles

My Wooden Spoon

Audrey Confidential

Consumer Queen

http://www.outnumbered3-1.com/2010/05/summer-of-snacking-with-nestle-ice.html


May 21, 2010

Are you a dreamer? Do you have an idea for a business but lack the funding to make it a reality?

I'm an entrepreneur, I freely admit it. It's in my genes. My dad never held a 9-5 job for more than a month or so. He was always looking for that next business idea. Some he was quite successful at, some were failures. But he never stopped, never gave up his dream of being his own boss and running his own business.

I got it honest from him. I've tried my hand at different business ventures and some worked, some didn't. But I had a blast finding out!

But I never really had that one idea, that brainstorm, that life-changing invention or niche market item that would have put me permanently in the black. All my ventures generally came out in the red, mainly because they were underfunded. In business, you have to strike while the iron is hot. Snooze and lose. Funding is everything, but once you've sunk your savings, credit card advances, family loans, and everything you could beg and borrow into a venture, where do you turn next?

I am excited to announce Huggies® MomInspired™ Grant Program. This program allows inventive moms to submit original, innovative and viable new business and product ideas designed to help make life easier for parents so that they can better enjoy everyday moments with their little ones. Until June 11th, you can visit www.HuggiesMomInspired.com to apply.

This program is open to moms who have an idea or already have a product/business and need additional funding to take it to the next level. Please note that the business or idea does not have to be one that fits within the Kimberly-Clark portfolio of products.This is all about helping moms nurture their business ideas and help them grow.

The Huggies® MomInspired™ Grant Program is awarding up to $15,000 in seed money as well as business resources to further the development of original product ideas and startup businesses. Huggies™ does not specifically seek ideas that are diaper or hygiene related. Available grants range from $1,000, $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000 based on the applicant's business needs and goals.

A judging panel will review all submissions under consideration and evaluate them thoroughly based on their qualities and inherent worth. All decisions on grant applications are final and are solely within the discretion of Kimberly-Clark Corporation and its agents.

The evaluation process takes roughly 6 weeks per submission period. Those applicants accepted into round two will be invited to a brief phone interview with the judging panel. Once a decision has been rendered, winners and non-winners alike will be notified either by phone or email. Applicants who are awarded grants will be asked to share their progress on a quarterly basis and are requested to reach out to Huggies® first if they consider selling their business. The final decision on who the applicant sells their business to, after this first discussion with Huggies®, is left to the discretion of the grant recipient.

You can get lots more info at their website. If you have an idea that only needs seed money to make a reality, I urge you to check out this wonderful program!




By posting this information, I am entered into a contest to win a $250 American Express gift card from MomSelect. I did not receive any compensation for this post and thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.


May 18, 2010

Five Fun Family Vacation Activities Your Kids Will Love

Twitter Moms is having a blogging contest and to enter all you have to do is write a blog about Five Fun Family Vacation Activities Your Kids Will Love. Details here.

1. Keep your destination a surprise! It's okay to tell them yes, bring your bathing suit, but they don't have to know whether they are visiting the beach or the water park. Kids love mysteries!

2. Have an ace in the hole. On a recent weeklong trip to Florida, it rained three days. I had cranky kids on my hands. So I figured it was time to whip out the video game I had secretly packed away. You don't want to bring it, obviously, because this is supposed to be a vacation, right? So keep it a secret until/unless you need it. At the very least this will keep them occupied until the weather improves.

3. Play traveling games with your kids. Search the Internet for fun games you can play on your trip, like License Plate Bingo, I Spy, etc. If you have time to do the research ahead of time, turn your road trip into a scavenger hunt, and let the kids pick up small items to fulfill the scavenger hunt list (simple things like a postcard of the Grand Canyon).

4. Kids need to have fun, yes, but there's nothing wrong with having fun AND learning something in the process. Take Colonial Williamsburg, for example. Where else can kids join in a fife and drum parade or go on a haunted tavern tour?

5. And finally, save a trick up your sleeve for the return trip home. Kids can get just as irritable after a vacation as they can before one. My favorite is to start with the letters of the alphabet and have each one name something that begins with their letter that they enjoyed on the vacation and why. It helps to reinforce memories of the trip and helps them see smaller things that are just as important as big ones. For instance, the letter C might be answered with "cabin" and then the person shares something they liked or disliked or will always remember. It enhances the trip for everyone!

Those are only 5 possibilities. I'm sure you'll come up with lots more!


I wrote this blog post while participating in the Williamsburg Tourism and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

May 11, 2010

My Top 10 Creative and Affordable Vacation Ideas

Every year I have this dilemma: I want to go somewhere - anywhere - but I'm always short on money.

Twitter Moms got me thinking about the possibilities when I read this.

Mediterranean cruise? Lovely thought, but too expensive.

Left Bank of Paris? Amazing experience, but too expensive.

La Costa? Again... too expensive.

Are you sensing a pattern here?

"Vacation" doesn't have to mean a foreign trip. Or a luxury indulgence. (although both of those would be nice!!)

Last year, the buzzword was "staycation". That's all well and good, but I can't make it work for me. If I'm at home for a few days, I start feeling guilty and find things to do around the house. NOT my idea of a vacation.

So I started thinking of alternatives... and here are My Top 10 Creative and Affordable Vacation Ideas:

1. Think local. There are lots of places within a day's drive that offer entertainment, culture, activity or just relaxation. Google your home town and search in a 100-mile radius for attractions.

2. Think outside the box. Amusement parks are fine, but kids also love animals. How about a petting zoo or working farm?

3. Let your friends and family know you are looking for vacation ideas and opportunities. You never know what might turn up. A friend had tickets for a NASCAR race and couldn't go, so he gave them to me. Instant vacation from the ordinary!

4. There's strength in numbers. If that trip is too expensive to take on your own or with just your family, get together with another person or family and split the costs. A beach house rental for a week at half price is quite a deal.

5. Think about your hobbies and passions and look for ways to vacation around them. I love exploring antebellum mansions, so a trip to Vicksburg, Mississippi appeals to me very much, whereas someone who doesn't share that passion might be bored with Vicksburg. (sorry, Vicksburg, no offense intended - I just used you as an example) :)

6. If you're single and love adventure, try your luck at stand-by flights. Airlines want to send up full planes, of course, but sometimes passengers don't make their flights for whatever reasons and the plane has to go up anyway, even with an empty seat. Airlines will fill those seats at deeply discounted prices, but you have to be available at a moment's notice to go wherever that plane is going. Not for the timid!

7. House-sit for a friend or relative while they are away. I just love staying at my sister's place while she and her family are in Florida for a week. It's just familiar enough to feel cozy and home-like, and just exotic enough to feel like I'm getting a little mini-getaway. And she has a pool and hot tub. :)

8. Camping is an affordable escape if you don't mind roughing it. Don't forget mosquito repellent!

9. State and national parks also offer some great deals on cabin rentals or hotel room stays. Meals are often included, and the grounds and premises are well-patrolled and family-friendly. Check out your state's website for local parks and nature areas.

10. And finally, nothing says "vacation" to me like just relaxing. And nothing says "relax" to me like a hammock. A quick visit to the hardware store, thirty minutes of assembly, and voila, instant haven in the privacy of your own backyard.

So there you have it, and I hope I've given you some things to think about. An African Safari would be the trip of a lifetime, sure, but it would cost about as much as a small house. Not something I can afford. So get creative and think of your own affordable vacation getaway ideas.

Affordable Vacation Ideas
Toyota Sienna


I wrote this blog post while participating in the Toyota Sienna and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.